The Other House South Kensington
The Other House is looking to acquire sites across London before expanding to Manhattan and beyond, CEO, founder and co-owner Naomi Heaton has told TOPHOTELNEWS.
The trailblazing brand is planning to grow quickly following the debut of its inaugural scheme.
South Kensington begins taking reservations
Originally launched in 2019, The Other House is a new lifestyle hospitality brand whose properties will draw inspiration from traditional hotels and private residences to create so-called ‘residents clubs’, combining Club Flats (apartments) and members’ clubs with public restaurants and bars . Its first site, The Other House South Kensington, will soft-launch in June 2022 and has just started accepting bookings from 1 July onwards, and its second site, The Other House Covent Garden, successfully secured planning permission in January.
The Other House CEO, founder and co-owner Naomi Heaton, speaking at a press conference to introduce the South Kensington development to global media, has now revealed the brand is “actively looking” for further development opportunities.
“We’re looking at several at the moment – funnily enough, last year there was very little available, but this year there’s more,” she said. “We’ll look in other villages – we see prime central London as made up of lots of different villages and personalities – and different people want to live in these villages.
“So we could be looking at Marylebone, Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury, Notting Hill, Sloane Square, or even down towards St James’s and Piccadilly. They all have different personalities but providing they can meet our criteria, which is that we’re able to reconfigure them into the Club Flats that we want to offer, that we can bring in our members’ clubs and that the space is right, we ‘ll consider whatever’s available.
“There isn’t a huge amount that’s available, and when it has to meet our particular requirements, that pool gets smaller. But we’re very hopeful we’ll be able to announce the next acquisition very shortly.”
Building up its footprint in central London
The Other House is the result of a joint venture between London Central Portfolio, which Heaton established in 1990, and APG, the largest pension provider in the Netherlands. Having already acquired a pair of sites in South Kensington and Covent Garden, it’s now planning to buy “four to six other properties in central London before we roll out internationally”.
“I think we’ll probably go to Manhattan first, but we’ll also go to other global destinations that feel like London, which have great vibes and culture, and attract both tourists and the corporate sector,” she added. “There are a lot of opportunities around the world that we’ll target once we develop the brand. But we feel that the brand is most readily developed in central London as it’s such an important global capital, quite apart from being the patch of the world that I know best and have worked in for so many years.”
APG is known for investing heavily in hospitality, having backed the likes of CitizenM and The Student Hotel down the years. Like those companies, The Other House is planning to scale up at speed.
“I’d say in the next ten years, you’ll have 15 to 20 Other Houses,” said Heaton. “We’ll certainly be in European destinations like Italy, Germany and Spain, moving onto South-East Asia with Singapore, and maybe the Middle East as well. Because the kind of people that we’re targeting are global travellers, and therefore there isn’t a geographic restriction on where we’d go, providing it’s a place they’d go.”
Focusing on renovations over newbuilds
The South Kensington and Covent Garden schemes involve renovating existing properties, rather than newbuild developments, in line with the brand’s commitment to encourage sustainable travel. In both cases, the architect is Liverpool’s Falconer Chester Hall, while the interior designer is London-based Bergman Design House.
“We are taking these wonderful old buildings in prime central London that are no longer fit for purpose,” said Heaton. “And we’re bringing them back to life, reconfiguring and renovating them. And that, of course, is really positive – developing these assets in a way that’s good for the environment.”
All The Other House properties will include a destination bar, The Owl & Monkey, and an informal café, The Other Kitchen. The Covent Garden branch, whose team includes general manager Simon Drake, head chef Gary White and head barman Flavio Russo, will feature approximately 200 Club Flats, ranging from 258 to 581 sq ft in size.
“What we want to do is to create this brand-new sector within the hospitality market of residents clubs, where people can feel like a resident as long as they’re in town, whether that be a day, a week, a month or a year,” reflected Heaton. “Where they feel like they’re staying at their other house.”